Reducing stress in the workplace with Tech
Stress Awareness Month has been held every April since 1992 to raise awareness of the causes and cures for the modern-day stress epidemic. Stress contributors have changed so much over the years, with new technologies being developed to help people in their everyday life. However, these technology developments also bring their stresses as working with technology can often be difficult, especially if training, support and ease-of-use haven’t all been considered.
As I’m sure you’re all aware by now, remote working had a huge revamp in 2020 when workers were forced out of their offices due to COVID19. This turned the way we work on its head, and we all quickly had to adapt to working from home. While many people now prefer to work from home, not all people feel the same – according to a recent study 58% of workers in the UK are favouring a hybrid working model, splitting their time between home and office. Another statistic tells us that 21% of respondents who quit their job in 2021 reported doing so because of a lack of flexible working hours or location. Work-life balance and having a healthy relationship with your workplace is more important than ever, so why wouldn’t you want to give your employees the opportunity to work from home?
With a cloud phone system, your staff can log into their system from anywhere, on any device and be as productive as they would in the office, sometimes even more so without the hustle and bustle of office life. If you’re concerned about not being able to monitor your employee’s activity from home, then in-built reporting will show their activity levels and contact-centre type bolt-ons can help you see when they’re available to take calls, in a meeting/training or on a break – giving full transparency to line managers.
However, as much as being able to work from anywhere on any device is a huge step towards a more healthy work-life balance when it comes to commute times and managing family diaries, you do have to have more discipline than when working a traditional 9-5 office-based role. While flexibility to work around your life is a real bonus, you also need to make sure that you make time to live around your work when these two things aren’t taking place in separate locations. With technology being ‘always on’ nowadays, and emails readily available on your phone, it’s easy to forget to log off, especially with deadlines and targets to meet. So, in stress awareness month, remember that technology can help us unwind too; fitness and meditation apps, online self-development courses, video calls with far-flung friends – if technology’s there to make flexible working easy, it’s also there to make flexible living enjoyable.
Don’t let slow systems grind you to a halt
There’s nothing more frustrating than working with slow, outdated systems – not only does it affect your productivity, but also the service you can provide to customers. It also affects internal communications, leading to slow progress on tasks and projects – all hindering your sense of achievement.
There are two things to explore here – firstly the slow systems: do they need an upgrade, are they fit for purpose, is the underlying connectivity fast enough? If the systems your colleagues are working with are clunky and difficult to use, then you definitely won’t be getting their best work. This will have a knock-on effect to their output and happiness, and with employee happiness boosting productivity by 20% that’s something you want more of.
Secondly, not being able to communicate effectively is one of the biggest triggers of stress, and there’s really no need nowadays for businesses not to have the technologies in place for seamless and effective communication and collaboration between colleagues. Effective communication generates 4.5 times higher talent retention and collaboration tools scale up productivity by 30%, so by simply using a tool like Microsoft Teams to its full potential you can completely change the working environment of your teams, for the better. By encouraging colleague chat, creating groups and channels for company and team communication, as well as by project, you ease communication and collaboration into ‘business as usual’ for everyone, breaking down silos and making everyone accessible.
Technology is here to help us, not be a hindrance, and definitely not to induce stress. So, if there’s any part of your technology setup that’s not working as it should then you need to investigate why and get it resolved before it becomes more of a challenge.
If you’re struggling with workplace stress, or stress in general, head over to https://www.stress.org.uk/national-stress-awareness-month/ and read through some tips.
If any of the tech solutions in this blog would benefit your business, reach out to us on email@example.com or give us a call on 0800 160 1111.